Mental disorders increase with Indonesia's ageing population

Mental disorders increase with Indonesia's ageing population

As Indonesia's population of older people grows, the government is being pushed to provide better mental health facilities for the elderly, who are at higher risk of developing mental disorders.

The head of the health ministry's intelligence centre, Eka Viora, said that increasing life expectancy meant that the population aged 60 and over with mental disorders was also growing.

"The longer a person lives, the greater his or her risk of developing a disease or condition that could trigger dementia, insomnia or depression, for instance," Eka said during an event commemorating World Mental Health Day on Thursday.

"Loneliness is also one of the main causes of mental disorder."

The mental health of the elderly was the theme of this year's World Mental Health Day, which falls every October 10.

In 2020, approximately 28.8 million people in Indonesia, or 11.34 per cent of the projected population, will be aged over 60, up from 24 million (9.7 per cent) in 2010 and 11.3 million (7.4 per cent) in 2000.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the total number of people with dementia worldwide is projected to almost double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.

Nova Riyanti Yusuf, member of House of Representatives Commission IX overseeing health and welfare affairs, said that the government should expand its coverage of basic mental health services, primarily in community health centers (Puskesmas).

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